A year or two ago, some friends on Facebook were discussing with starry-eyed optimism how easy it is to make change in our lives.
“Just choose it! That’s all it takes,” my friend said.
“That’s right!” the other one replied.
This pissed me off. That’s NOT how things work. I grumbled to myself.
The two went on and on with this discussion and frankly I wanted to vomit.
“Give me a f@*$&ing break, I thought. Maybe these two freaks of nature think they can make their lives better by twitching their nose like Samantha on Bewitched, but that certainly was not me. No one has that much control over their lives.
I thought about their comments for days. Mulled over them. Steeped in them. And at the end of it I knew for sure that “thought control” wasn’t for me. I had baggage. A world of noise in my head…not to mention a diagnosis: General Anxiety Disorder. OCD. Bipolar. According to the people in my world I was clinically helpless.
I was taught that we have little to no control of who we are, where we go and where we end up. To the people in my world, life was like a bumper car ride. We may have a little freedom of movement initially, but in the end we’ll always be blocked from going anywhere.
Fast forward to today.
I’m out with a group of friends and I’m feeling my anger and sadness build. I hadn’t slept well the night before and I had some left over resentment boiling in me from the previous day. I was cranky and miserable.
Two years back in that situation I would have perpetuated it all: You are an awful person for having these feelings.I’d say. You should have stayed home.
I would have sat with my friends with my negative filter on, taking everything they said as an attack, or a sign of disapproval. I would have gone home that night and grumbled.
But this time I did something different. I decided to make change.
I excused myself from the group. Alone in the bathroom I breathed deep and I asked myself, What do you want?
I responded to my own question: I want to have a good time. I want us all to have a good time!
And in my calm state I heard the answer: Then make it so!
I stepped from the bathroom and settled in my seat with my friends. I felt resolved not necessarily to have a super, crazy good time, but to be okay with where I was. I was no longer passive to my mood. I chose to be content.
Sure I was still tired, and yeah, the irritability was there, but I sat back and stopped trying. I stopped feeling guilty and mad at myself for the feelings that were going through my head. Instead of letting the dark and dank emotions grow, I released them. I no longer fought. The battle within me was over.
It didn’t take any magic, no nose twitching, or anything of the sort. I just redefined the picture.
I will have a good time, I told myself. And I did! By shifting my reality, my visit with friends went from being potentially miserable to wonderful—one of the best outings I’ve had in a very long time.
I’m not saying this makes change easy—not for me anyway. Some days are bad. Some are worth grumbling over, some even require tears, but recognizing that we can take control of how we filter those experiences will ultimately affect the course of our lives!
I’m seeing that life is not like a bumper car ride, nor is it a merry-go-round…or a roller coaster. We are not passive! We are absolutely 100% active. I say ax the carnival ride metaphor all together and imagine yourself flying out over an open field. You have all the choice in the world, to go up, down, fast, slow. Yeah, it might be windy some days, but how that wind affects you is entirely up to you.
It’s your reality! Make it yours!
Wishing you peace and love,
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